What Should You Look For In An SEO Firm?

    March 9, 2007

When facing the potential need of SEO services in order to take the next step toward ranking higher in the search engines, a company should have a specific list of criteria in mind in order to distinguish the less than reputable firms from the ones who have legitimate value to offer the customer.

What Should You Look For In An SEO Firm?
What Should You Look For In An SEO Firm?

So you’ve decided to finally give search engine optimization a whirl. You’ve heard some good things about SEO and what it can do for your site, but you’ve also heard horror stories about fast-talking, wheeling & dealing, black hat search professionals who promise high rankings but ultimately get sites removed from the index altogether because of their shady methods.

How do you avoid getting taken for a ride? Simply put, you have to go into the process with a game plan; know what you want and how you expect a search engine professional to help you achieve your specific goals.

If you’re looking for a good jumping off point, Stoney de Geyter has written a great article on what clients typically look for in SEO firms. Here are a couple of the more important items:

Price: Though many people would (or should) be willing to pay more for a better service, there does come a point where price for services is just too high for a company’s current budget. Regardless of the quality, they simply can’t afford to pay anymore, at least right now. Then there are the bargain hunters. It surprises me when talking to prospective clients and I’m told by one that our prices are way too high and then by another that our prices are within the range of other firms they’ve been investigating.

It’s all about each person’s perspective, and each has a pricing range that they can, or think they can, afford. Funny, I don’t think I’ve ever been told that our prices are not high enough (though I suspect for some prospects that may actually be true!)

Results: Many prospects rely on assurances, but the really savvy SEO researcher demands to see results. They want to know what you’ve accomplished and for whom, and possibly even some references that they can call to talk to about the services the SEO has provided them.

There’s another particularly important item that I’d like to add to Stoney’s list – reputation.

With the inherent negativity that pervades much of the SEO industry, hiring a firm with a positive reputation becomes increasingly vital. In a particular firm has a negative reputation following it around, chance are that they did something to deserve that moniker. Don’t allow your company’s good name to be tarnished because you hired the wrong SEO firm.

Stick to your game plan and you won’t regret it.

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